South Africa bus crash kills 45 Easter pilgrims

Eight-year-old girl the sole survivor after vehicle falls about 50 metres from mountain pass

South Africa bus crash kills 45 people

South Africa bus crash kills 45 people
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At least 45 people were killed in South Africa when a bus carrying Easter pilgrims plunged off a bridge on Thursday.

An eight-year-old girl survived the crash in the north-eastern province of Limpopo, South Africa's Department of Transport said. She suffered serious injuries and is being treated in hospital.

The driver lost control of the bus on a mountain pass near Mamatlakala. The vehicle dropped about 50 metres and caught fire after hitting the ground.

The bus was taking Easter pilgrims from Botswana to the town of Moria, in Limpopo.

South Africa's government often issues public messages about road safety during the Easter holidays, a particularly busy and dangerous time for travel in the country. More than 200 people died in crashes during the Easter weekend last year.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sent his condolences to Botswana and pledged support to the country, his office said in a statement.

The provincial government said many of the of bodies were burnt beyond recognition and remained inside the vehicle.

South Africa's Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga said an investigation into the crash was under way and offered her condolences to the families of the victims.

The Zionist Christian Church has its headquarters in Moria and its Easter pilgrimage attracts hundreds of thousands of people from across South Africa and neighbouring countries, AP reported.

This is the first year the Easter pilgrimage to Moria has been held since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated: March 29, 2024, 12:13 PM